Feedback from China indicates that the number of independent visitors will continue to grow from this source market bringing a new, savvy traveller who wants to do more than tick off the reef, rainforest and Indigenous culture with half day trips.
This exciting news was given when I joined Tourism and Events Queensland and Cairns Airport representatives at the World Routes conference in China last week.
We met with partners in the Connecting With Asia consortium including China Southern Airlines and key distribution agents.
Positive discussions were held around future cooperation to ensure the direct flights from Guangzhou to Cairns are sustainable.
Agents said the rapidly growing number of independent travellers from China are intent on exploring Tropical North Queensland further by participating in more outdoor activities.
They want to explore our World Heritage areas and are keen to try diving and soft adventures such as hot air ballooning.
In particular, they are looking for new experiences which are not familiar to the Chinese market.
TTNQ has reviewed 150 products to identify what is not being used by this market and is working with them to increase their appeal to the Chinese.
Understanding Chinese culture is still critical to engaging effectively with these visitors and TTNQ will continue to run education programs to ensure our destination is China-ready.
In the first year of the Connecting With Asia project TTNQ delivered nine China Now industry product workshops across six locations with 174 participants.
Three payment provider workshops were delivered in Cairns to 48 people including seven one-on-one appointments.
Every participant found the workshop they attended helpful and said they were likely to proactively change their business processes to accommodate the Chinese market.
During Chinese New Year businesses that installed online payment solutions reported increased sales with customers actively seeking to shop, dine and tour using providers like Union Pay.
TTNQ also created 20 new itineraries ranging from three to seven nights incorporating products new to that market to encourage a longer length of stay and disperse Chinese visitors further throughout Tropical North Queensland.
Chief Executive Officer